The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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impression made on his mind by the solemn and heroic decisions of that day.*

        * Extract from Declaration of General Joseph Graham, sworn to in open Court in Lincoln County, North Carolina, October 30, 1832, and now on file in the Pension Bureau at Washington, D. C. in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7, 1832.

        "The deponent states he has a record of his age; that he was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, on October 13, 1759--that he removed to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, when about ten years of age, that he was present in Charlotte on the 20th day of May, 1775, when the committee of the County of Mecklenburg made their celebrated Declaration of Independence of the British Crown, upwards of a year before the Congress of the United States did at Philadelphia--that he resided in Mecklenburg County, until June, 1792, and since that time in the County of Lincoln." Let the doubters of this event read this affidavit!

        He enlisted at the age of nineteen years and served in the 4th Regiment of North Carolina troops under Colonel Archibald Lytle, and in Captain Goodsen's Company. They were ordered to rendezvous at Bladensburg in Maryland. On this month they received intelligence of the battle of Monmouth and that the British had gone to New York, so their services would not be needed. He returned home on furlough. He was again called into service under General Rutherford in 1778; was in the battle of Stono, June 20, 1779. The next year he was seized with fever, and after two months' severe illness, was discharged near Dorchester, and returned home. After recruiting his health, while engaged in endeavoring to aid his mother in support of the family, and was ploughing in the field, he heard that the British had defeated Colonel Buford at the Waxhaw, and were approaching Charlotte; he joined the Mecklenburg Regiment, and was appointed Adjutant of the Regiment, which was ordered by General Davidson to Charlotte and there join General Davie.

        The British Army entered Charlotte, September 26, 1780, and General Graham was ordered to cover the retreat of General Davie. A sharp conflict took place about four miles on the road to Salisbury, when General Davie's force was not within supporting distance. Colonel Locke of Rowan was killed and General Graham received nine severe wounds, the scars of which he carried to his grave.

        His life was preserved by a large stock buckle which broke the violence of the blow from a sabre. He was for two months disabled from service. As soon as he recovered from his wounds he again entered into the service of his country; he raised a company of mounted riflemen, and joined General Davidson's command, which disputed the advance of Lord Cornwallis at Cowan's Ford on the Catawba river. His command was the first to commence the attack on the British troops, which was continued until they had crossed.

        It was here, on February 1, 1781, that General Davidson fell. The North Carolina troops under General Graham continued to harrass the British as they proceeded towards Virginia. General Graham attacked the guard at Hart's Mill, near Hillsboro. The same day he was united to General Lee's forces and was in that action where a large number of Tories, under Colonel, or Doctor, Pyles, were defeated. After being in several other severe skirmishes, the British retired to Wilmington. General Rutherford, who had been for some time confined at St. Augustine as a prisoner of war, taken at Gates' defeat, returned to duty and ordered General Graham to raise a legion of cavalry, of which Robert Smith was Colonel, and Graham the Major, and to march on Wilmington. Near Fayetteville, he made a gallant and successful attack on a body of Tories commanded by the noted Tory, McNeil, at McFall's Mill on the Raft Swamp, completely defeated him and dispersed his forces, twenty or thirty being killed or wounded by the sabre only.

        He surprised and defeated at Alfred Moore's plantation, a mile below the ferry at Wilmington, a band of Tories, and killed and wounded twelve of them. He made an unsuccessful attack on a British garrison in a brick house which covered the ferry opposite Wilmington. He was detached by General Rutherford, to a place called Seven Creeks, near the South Carolina
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